I decide how many dependents I can have on me and how many I cannot. I think, that as an adult, I have that much sense. I do not need a system to tell me what I can afford, and what I cannot.

We will get back to what I said above in a while. Let me tell you something else before I get into it though. This is an era where BS does not go far. People , systems and deceptions get exposed, discussed and analyzed. You cannot give nonsense to people , thinking they are helpless and naive AND get away with it. You may think you are, but you are only opening the cage of a hungry tiger who will attack you without warning and suddenly. Yes, people play along. They go for the ride. And, on the way, they turn around and push you off the roller coaster. This is happening frequently and openly now.

When I was at college on a beautiful little island that has to deal with over 2 million tourists, illegal workers and the Russian mafia at the same time, I was given a “pink Slip”. No, it was not underwear. It was the local “iqama”. A paper that gave me temporary residency as a student. This “pink slip” was issued when we showed college admission, payment of fee and bank account balance. The immigration officer confirmed that you were financially ok and attending college. That you were indeed doing what you had come to do. After we applied for this, we would go home and in a weeks time we would receive this “pink slip” at our homes. The validity of it would usually be two years.

Like every visa, residency, passport and identification in the world, this slip also contained the DOs and DONTs, the privileges and limitations of the holder.

Now, this was a student visa.

In the hierarchy of the any society, the student is the lowest of the low in status. That is because they are not yet earning members of the society and are still learning. Not much is expected of them , except that they will complete their degrees and study a lot.  Keeping this in mind, consider the following:

The “Pink Slip” contained the  Name, ID number, Passport  Number, Validity, Reason for Stay, Nationality AND this: ” The holder of this document is allowed to invite their parents, siblings , spouse and relatives on this visa”. .. or something like that.

This means that I could have any one of my family members, spouse, friends and ANYONE I damn well pleased , come and go to Cyprus as many times as I wanted and in fact, they could stay and WOULD get permission to stay as long as my “pink slip” was valid! Wonderful, right?

This was at a time when all of these immigration and passport office functions were manual and NOT computerized. My mother once came and stayed with me. Her visa was about to expire, so I took her to the immigration office. The officer apologized to her a million times for having to wait in line, reprimanded me for bringing her there and said that ALL I had to do was bring her passport and my “slip” and he would extend the visa. Why did I have to bring her there to wait in line and get bothered? Having lived in KSA for so long, she was in shock!

Of course, they also did not care about my nationality. They had a system that was for ALL foreigners. There was no A grade or C grade.

So, what the HELL is wrong with this place? That was a little island that had to deal with more crap in one year than KSA does in 5 years! I have an iqama and I have lost count of the years we have spent here. I have respect for the law and I am INVESTING my money here. WHY am I told who I can bring and who I cannot? I should be able to bring ANYONE I want to visit me, right?  As long as me or my dependent is not breaking any laws and expenses are taken care of, how does the KSA government suffer from their presence here?

I have a friend who wanted to invite his in-laws and his brother-in-law , who is mentally handicapped. The boy cannot live without his parents and has to accompany them where ever they go. Not only was the man refused the visas by the ” automated ” system, he was made to run around for a while JUST to get information as to how this can be done. I took up the task of getting him this permission, and it has been close to TWO months now since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directs us to the Ministry of Interior for permission and then they send us elsewhere – not to mention at least two to three different letters that had to be issued by his sponsor! This man is in an above average job, earns and spends in this country and HE is inviting his in-laws here – why does he have to go through ALL this nonsense?

If the government wants to impose a high fee and benefit, it is ok. If the government wants to simply make life miserable for people, it is a shame. It is a real shame where in 2011, we have to witness all this.

What is so difficult and wrong in allowing ANY expatriate to invite ANYONE they want? I don’t get it! It should be as simple as this: I go online, apply for visas for my family, friends and anyone. Application goes into the system that checks my status and links all of these people to my ID. The visas are issued the NEXT day, sent to the visitors ONLINE and they come. They get a 1 month renewable visa and if not extended , the passport office can contact me, right?  Charge me 1000 per person, I don’t care. No one would. As long as service is provided without delay and hassle. What retard finds this to be so difficult? I wonder.

Way too many restrictions!

AND, the funny thing is that regardless of these restrictions, people come, over stay and do everything in the book – a SAUDI arranges it for them against huge payments. Countless ” labor” visa people have their families here.. LEGALLY! Countless people are living here, ILLEGALLY! And this will go on and on. Why not legalize it ALL. At least, this way they will be making the life of intelligence agents and police easy because EVERYONE will be in the system. Right now, if you go to Jeddah, you will find a huge population of “bidoons” , the ones “WITHOUT ID”. What a freaking CURSE this is!

Someone without ID can do ANYTHING and get away with it !

I was in Jeddah once and near a Mobile Phone market, two Africans tried to snatch my cellphone. They were not successful and they were on a bike. I tried to catch them, but they took off. Very close to me was a police man. His bike parked. I asked him to chase them. These were criminals and tried to steal right in front of him. He said this:

” They are illegals, BIDOON. Their bike has no plate number. I am on duty on this signal. What shall I put out on the radio?  Two black men on a bike going south? You know how many of those you will find on this road? And, if I chase them, they will take me to a place where I will not come out of alive ! There is a WHOLE neighborhood of these people. You need an army for them! So, my friend, you are lucky, they did not hurt you or take your phone. Thank Allah! and.. what city are you from anyway…”

Man! What can I say?

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